On Their Behalf

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March 9, 2017, Prescott- 

“On behalf of my father,

rest assured, he wants to beat your butt.”

“On behalf of America’s white lower middle class,

know that they’re not taking your crap, any more.”

“On behalf of God, know that He’s coming,

and will soon give you what you richly deserve.”

Once removed, no need to be shy.

The inferred source(s) may, or may not,

want an emissary.

The speaker(s) definitely want a back-up.

Here’s a thought:

How about speaking YOUR mind?

Fathers, people who get their hands dirty,

and the Supreme Being, least of all,

hardly need a spokesman.

Admit it, this makes your comments

easier to let fly.

Black Canyon National Recreation Trail: Some Other Beginning’s End

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January 28, 2017, Phoenix-  I completed my section-by-section exploration of the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, this evening.  Biscuit Flat segment’s north trailhead lies across New River Road from Emery Henderson Day Use Area, so I parked there.

As the name indicates, the terrain here is FLAT!

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Thanks to recent rains, though, there was greenery aplenty and, as you will see, a river to be crossed.

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A ranch once occupied Biscuit Flat, just above the New River. Its remnants are still on view, in the forms of a wooden trough and some piles of stones, apparently set aside as building material.

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Sizable “rivers of stone”, on the north bank of the New River, indicate that the often-dry  river has had its moments of torrent.  I spent several minutes, contemplating these rather extensive, and deep, piles of debris.  I’ve read that rocks and minerals impart energy.  I certainly felt that, here.

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New River itself was the second sweet surprise.  It, too, was running and gave me a chance to get my feet wet.

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The river bed is 1/4 mile wide, so there were two or three areas that needed fording.

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About 1/2 mile south of the river, there is a Federal prison to the left of the trail.

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A tributary of the New River left a small puddle, just past the prison view.

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As I reached Bob Bently Trailhead, a rather nondescript gate with weathered signage, my 88 miles of Black Canyon trail were reduced to the return hike to Emery Henderson.  The sounds of nearby Ben Avery State Shooting Range (where my son was trained to properly handle firearms) were heard, over a formidable earthen berm.

Lest anyone get the idea that Bob Bently was the end of the line, though, the invitation to another extensive trail system appeared, to my right. Several segments of Maricopa Trail, (http://mctpf.org/the-trail/), a 315-mile loop, circling Maricopa County, will be in view, on these pages, over the next four years.  There seems no end to surprises coming my way.

 

Meaning Business

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January 12, 2017, Prescott-

The child claimed what’s his.

A grown man can’t hold what’s his.

I make little go far.

The above verse is in reference to one of our boys speaking out, about respect, across all lines. He is the smallest of our students, but is being raised by loving parents, to not give an inch, to anyone bigger and stronger, when it comes to holding onto what belongs to him.

A very troubled man, claiming to speak for his Lord, is finding that hubris is an empty vessel, and doesn’t take the place of living in the path of God’s Messengers.  He is leaving shattered pieces, for others to pick up and carry forward.

Much had to be done, financially, these past two weeks.  I made it, thanks to a short-term advance from my bank, which will be re-paid, in full, at midnight.  This is a small example of what gets achieved, time and again, with relatively little.  I will not let my responsibilities, to loved ones, or to those who meet my needs, ever go unmet.

Responsibility for self is always basic.

PrescottWinter

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January 10, 2017, Prescott-

Small patches of dirty snow,

chilly fog in morning- “Jan-gloom”.

Daily walk to start the morning,

boys find the puddles,

splash, and bemoan the cold.

Less tussling, and verbal bravado,

now that a Special Needs mom,

is in charge.

Here we are,

in the prime learning stretch,

between New Year’s and Spring Break.

Portraits from A Year Gone By

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December 31, 2016, Chula Vista- I am taking the readership on a brief journey back, with one photo from each month, that sums up the month, for me.  So, let’s begin.

January-

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Pharaoh’s Face, with a barrel cactus keeping watch, south of the Agua Fria River, Black Canyon City

 

February-

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Sunset, over Goldwater Lake

March-

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Small pond, Banning Creek, northwest of Goldwater Lake

April-

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Quartz Mountain, north of Copper Basin

May-

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Granite Mountain, Prescott

June-

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Cathedral Gorge, Pioche, NV

July-

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Lake Redwine, Newnan, GA

August-

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Kayla Mueller, who was killed in Syria.  This is not my photo, but symbolizes the month of August, as I took no photos of my own, and the sacrifices of some Americans, in the fight against terrorism became front and center.

September-

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View of Santa Maria Mountains, from Juniper Mesa

October-

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Monarch butterflies, in Agua Fria watershed

November-

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Agua Fria Fort, off Little Pan Trail, Table Mesa region

December-

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White Christmas 2016, Prescott

So went the Year That The Common Man roared and I continued to explore.

 

 

How to Survive a Case of The Travellers Blues — TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO

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October 12, 2016, Darwin, AU-  Hah! I’m not halfway across the world.  This post is by a young friend who has been on far more extended journeys than I.  She offered it for sharing, and I think it of value for anyone who travels.  Getting out and about should never have to feel like a chore-bound job.

Has this ever happened to you? You dream about a trip for days, weeks, months, possibly even years. One day, something happens and you finally get to take the plunge and book flights. You pack days (or weeks) before you need to leave, just because you are so excited. You count down the days. You […]

via How to Survive a Case of The Travellers Blues — TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO

Labour Day Saturday

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September 3, 2016, Prescott-  How does one go about a fine day, with a cash shortage until Wednesday?  Well, I made sure there was plenty of food in the house, with a brief visit to the wonderful Prescott Farmers’ Market. A long-standing pile of recycling was divvied-up, among its various recipients.  A large pile of laundry  found cleanliness. I also paid off overdue bills from summer, the last period I will ever be without a steady flow of cash.  Of course, there will be a short few days of adjustment, as different ones present their charges, between now and the 7th.  That means one more windfall for the bank, but no matter- it’ll be the last such one.  I will tell  them not to spend it all in one place.  After the 7th of September, all’s well again.

My word is the most important thing.  I will go to the greatest of lengths to keep a promise.  That has meant other forms of deprivation, (social and with regard to time).  It all pays off in the end, when others keep their word to me.  I have, in any case, resolved to never again repeat the reneging on a promise, such as we had to execute in March, 2010.  Six months from this coming Saturday, my atonement from that broken promise will be complete.

Tonight found me at Planet Fitness, with a nearly empty exercise area.  It’s helping greatly; the belly that was getting ample over the summer is again shrinking steadily.  Of course, my return to regular hiking will also keep things in check, as will a renewed sense of portion control and no longer giving in to others pushing desserts on me, so that they themselves don’t feel guilty about indulging.  We could all do better, in that regard.

Tomorrow, I will enjoy two gatherings with friends, but then will come a climb up Juniper Mesa, and my first night hike in a couple of years.

 

Tales of the 2016 Road: Long Nights’ Journeys Into Light

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July 21-24, Flagstaff- One of the most surreal experiences of road travel is finding oneself among perfect strangers, in a night setting, when there is no light, either overhead or around.  This happened to me, briefly, when I was driving between Port Jervis and Hershey, and twilight was fading, with no bright moon- and plenty of rain.

The Rocky Mountains, though, offer a far different scene, in the dark overhead.  The majesty that exists, both day and night, in the place of 10,000-14,000 foot promontories, also imparts a sense of caution- whilst also bringing people together.

After three days spent at an informative, albeit de rigeur, Essential Oils Summer Summit, followed by a brief visit with my 90-year-old uncle, I headed south on I-25, certain that I would settle in, somewhere around Colorado Springs, and perhaps stop by to see an online friend, in that picturesque city.  Along about Castle Rock, two things occurred:  I got a message from said friend, asking that I “think of him, as I was passing through.” Translation- “I’m too busy, tomorrow.”  The second thing was that a message appeared on a sign board:  “Major accident on I-25, South, 18 miles north of Colorado Springs.  Traffic will be slow.”  No one in Castle Rock had any information, as to alternative routes to CS, and all places of accommodation were full,so I drove on, to Larkspur. There, in the pitch black, several people were pulled off, in and around Yogi Bear Campground- pretty much trying to figure out how long they could stay along the road, before someone came along to make them move.  Another enterprising person was driving through the grass, between exits, essentially making a new “frontage road”.

I rejoined the crowd that was inching their way down I-25, and exited at the second Larkspur off ramp. There, we all formed a 2-mile-long queue, headed westward, taking 40 minutes to cover the five miles between I-25 and a county line road, which led, in turn, to the outskirts of Colorado Springs!  The darkness of said detour also featured several families, pulling off to the side, and trying to make sense of things.  It gave me an air of Armageddon, just a bit.

By this time, I just wanted to find a place for my head to hit a pillow.  It was raining, and near midnight, so camping was out.  Plaza Inn, a magnificent place, on the north side of CS, had rooms which were being renovated.  The young lady staffing the front desk gave me such a room, for $ 100, instead of the normal $175.  With a gargantuan hot breakfast buffet, in the morning, this was well worth it.  She gets an A+, for entrepreneurship!

I actually felt refreshed, the next morning, so after the aforementioned breakfast blowout, which was excellent, I said farewell to Colorado Springs, being sure to offer a hefty tip to the housekeeping staff.  The only things missing, in the “under renovation” room, were a microwave oven and a chair.  I know how to sit on a King-sized bed.

I took a lovely drive, along US Highway 160, from Walsenburg to Tuba City Junction.   In noted, wistfully, that one of my favourite road eateries, Peace of Art Cafe, in Del Norte, had closed, and had not been bought by anyone.  This was a staple of my southern Colorado jaunts, over the past five years. My next two stops, in Mancos and Cortez, were also happy returns to familiar towns.  I spent a bit of photo time in Mancos’ historic district, noting that a few homes there were also up for grabs.  Here are a few photos, in case anyone wants to take a closer look at a home near the San Juan Mountains, and Mesa Verde National Park.  Mancos has excellent soil and fairly plentiful water.

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Historic home, Mancos, CO

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Historic home, Mancos, CO

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Alice Ann’s, Mancos, CO

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A jazz-themed porch, Mancos, CO

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Zuma Natural Foods, Mancos, CO

Zuma isn’t for sale.  It was just a nice place to pick up a lunch item for the next day, in case I didn’t get all the way to Prescott, on Sunday night.  Dinner, was to be at Jack and Janelle’s, another of my favourite stops,in Cortez.  There, I was greeted by Janelle, and a bubbly little girl, who waved hello, and shyly smiled, while I was waiting for a table.  It’s sweet to be welcomed by someone who just picks up on good feelings.  I left the darling child to her own subsequent mischief at the family’s table, and gratefully enjoyed a modest helping of grilled salmon and Caesar salad.  Jack & Janelle will see me again.

The drive down through the Navajo Nation was relatively uneventful, until I reached Tuba City.  All the lights in my old place of residence and livelihood (1981-86) were out, courtesy of a lightning strike to a transformer.  The one major intersection was being monitored by a police car, its flashing lights the only indication that there was indeed an intersection.  All three gas station/convenience stores, and both large hotels, were pitch black.  I did not investigate further.

At Gray Mountain, some twenty-five miles southwest, on the road to Flagstaff, there were fifteen of us who stopped for gas, centering and potty breaks.  Two children had been sent by their mother to buy a couple of items and tend to their business.  I found myself reassuring the little girl that everything would be fine now, and Flagstaff was bound to be relatively safe.  The scene outside was moderately chaotic, but we all got gas, the kids got their snacks and no one fell victim to Nature’s Call.

I made it to Americana Motel, my usual Flagstaff resting place, slept well and had nothing more serious than a WiFi outage, for the rest of my journey back to Home Base.  The Hyundai Elantra’s first “Garython” was a good maiden ride.